Foxtel acquires My Brilliant Friend adaptation

Foxtel today announced the acquisition of HBO’s new drama My Brilliant Friend, an eight-part series based on Elena Ferrante’s internationally bestselling novel of the same name.

My Brilliant Friend is based on the first book in Ferrante’s four-part series of novels, which trace the friendship of two girls, Elena and Lila, in postwar Naples.

With production on My Brilliant Friend currently underway in Caserta, Italy, casting for the series took place over a period of eight months, with almost 9,000 children and 500 adults from all over Campania auditioning.

Newcomers Elisa Del Genio and Ludovica Nasti were chosen to portray the two lead roles of Elena and Lila as young children. As production on the series progresses, these young actors will give way to two teenage actors, Margherita Mazzucco (Elena) and Gaia Girace (Lila). In total,My Brilliant Friend is expected to include a cast of more than 150 actors and 5,000 extras.

The series tells the story of Elena Greco, a now-elderly woman who discovers the most important friend in her life, Raffaella ‘Lila’ Cerullo, has disappeared without a trace. A writer, immersed in a house full of books, Greco turns on her computer and starts writing the story of their tempestuous friendship, stating from the point when Elena met Lila in their first year of school in 1950.

Set in a dangerous and fascinating Naples, their story goes on to cover more than 60 years of their lives, as she tries to describe the mystery of Lila, Elena’s brilliant friend and – in a way – her best friend and worst enemy.

My Brilliant Friend is an HBO, RAI FICTION and TIMVISION series, produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for Wildside and by Domenico Procacci for Fandango, in co-production with Umedia Production.

The eight-part series will stream on Foxtel and screen on showcase in 2019.